reports that the Lib Dem candidate in the Lovelace council ward by-election has said that he fears the only way that the Tory led council will listen to Guildford residents about the Local Plan is if they march to the council offices in Millmead.
The candidate, Colin Cross, also predicts a significant result in the by-election, demonstrating the strength of feelings, he says, is felt by many people in his ward, which includes Ripley, Wisley and Ockham, over the issue.
All candidates, including the officially selected Conservative Ben Paton, have criticised the Draft Local Plan so a result endorsing it seems impossible. But observers will be watching the turnout figure, the contest between the various parties and the political reaction very closely.
Mr Cross’s comment comes as a response sent to The Guildford Dragon NEWS on an article: Widespread Discontent Over Local Plan – Say Parish Councils. It was written on the day that the public consultation on the draft plan comes to an end (September 22).
The comment in full reads: “Hopefully by now there will be thousands of objections to the plan lodged with GBC. But will they make a difference? Not according to Mr Mansbridge [GBC council leader] and his ‘trajectory’.
“I fear the only way to dump this plan will be for the good citizens of Guildford to march to the council chamber in their droves and demand it be dropped.
“I can assure you that feelings in Ripley are running very high from my canvassing. We are unhappy being ignored and not about to stand by and let our village be ruined.
“Just wait until you see that emotion expressed at the ballot box on Thursday.”
Conservative candidate Ben Paton has responded: “How to change policy in Millmead? Vote for the person and not the party. I have a record of exposing the flaws in the local plan and I will make even more difference inside the council.
“Cllr Mansbridge opposed my selection, so I am doing something right.
“As I wrote in The Dragon on 22 July, we should be seeking ‘a new broom not offering support’. The assault on the green belt has no justification. My mission is to ensure that electors get a professional and coherent local plan that is based on applying the law, accurate facts, and careful judgement.”
Further responses from other candidates and political parties have been invited and will be added as they are received.